Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



How to  Deal With “Parental Alienation” in Divorce and Child Custody Cases

 Posted on March 22, 2023 in Family Law

Oak Park Child Custody LawyerWhen parents get a divorce, it can sometimes be difficult for them to remember that their children’s best interests should be their top priority. Parents can become focused on their own desires, and they may even attempt to use their children against each other. In some cases, one parent may attempt to manipulate their children into taking their side in disputes, or even cutting off contact with the other parent. This is known as “parental alienation”, and it can have damaging psychological effects on a child. If you believe that your ex is engaging in “parental alienation”, you will want to make sure you address this issue appropriately during legal proceedings related to child custody.

Understanding “Parental Alienation”

“Parental alienation”  is defined as attempts by one parent to cause their children to feel negatively about the other parent, or other forms of interference in their parent/child relationship. This may involve a variety of different actions, including speaking negatively about the other parent in the children's presence, asking children to monitor the other parent's activities or relationships, encouraging children to take sides in disputes, claiming that the other parent does not love the children or want to spend time with them, or refusing to allow the children to see or communicate with the other parent. This kind of behavior can be very harmful, because it creates an environment where the child feels that they must choose between their parents. The result is often increased stress for all parties involved, and long-lasting emotional damage for the child.

When trying to assess whether “parental alienation” is occurring, there are a few indicators you can look out for. If there is a sudden change in your child’s attitude towards you, or if they actively avoid spending time with you even after numerous attempts at communication, then there may be cause for concern. If your child's beliefs about you seem irrational, or if they use language that seems to come from your ex, those are signs that your ex may be attempting to alienate them against you, and you will need to determine how to respond.

Taking Legal Action to Address “Parental Alienation”

To ensure that you can respond to “parental alienation” and maintain a good relationship with your children, you should work with an attorney to bring these issues to the attention of the court and to make sure the proper measures are taken to protect your children's best interests. If necessary, a guardian ad litem or child custody evaluator may be appointed by the court to investigate the situation and make recommendations about solutions that may be put in place to prevent harm to parent/child relationships.

If there is evidence that “parental alienation” has occurred, certain types of restrictions on the allocation of parental responsibilities or parenting time may be appropriate for the court to impose. Your ex’s amount of parenting time may be reduced, or restrictions may be placed on when they can communicate with you or your children. They may also be required to participate in parenting classes or other treatment programs, or other measures may be taken to help prevent any actions that could cause your children to suffer emotional harm.

Contact Our Hillside Child Custody Attorney for “Parental Alienation”

“Parental alienation” should not be taken lightly, as it can have severe consequences for children and their relationships with both parents. By watching for the potential warning signs of “parental alienation” and responding to these signs quickly and effectively, you can help prevent problems that could affect you and your children. At Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., we can advise you on the best ways to legally deal with these issues, and we can provide you with high-quality representation as you work to resolve issues related to the custody of your children. Contact our Oak Park child custody lawyer at 708-449-7404 to set up a free consultation today.



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